I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October. I had my first chemo session a week ago. Does the tired feeling go away and does it get harder after each session?
I was so positive before my first treatment, but I never expected to feel so drained and tired. What do you do to help manage side effects besides medications prescribed by oncologist ?
Thanking you for any advice.
thank you for your reply and tips. I have grade 3 hormone receptive breast cancer. I had a full hysterectomy just over 3 weeks ago. I’m doing chemo first. And however I respond to chemo will determine what surgery I will have. I was so fit and energetic before diagnosis and am overwhelmed how all of a sudden the energy has been zapped from me.
thank you so much for your advise. It is greatly appreciated.
I have different situation but same dillema - fit and healthy prior, went in positive, then after first session it hit me like a sack of potatoes....
Savage headaches, energy levels in the negative, and a handful of other rubbish side-effects. Will be different for everyone no doubt. Many have it worse. Back on point - Energy Levels - for me; after the Second Session I had far less fatigue, so fingers crossed for you too! Still there, but I haven’t been dragging my feet anywhere near as much and even making it the whole day without being completely shattered.
Here’s my version of dealing with it all
I agree with Budgie - exercise helps, even a 10min wander and build up gradually. And also – I pull back whenever I feel low, but I always get out the door. Such a game-changer for my body and my mind! Prior to treatment I exercised 7-10hrs a week... Now its a 10-20min stroll in the AM, conserve energy during the day, work as much as I can - resting whenever I need to (plenty of breaks), then another 10-15min walk in the afternoon if I could manage it. Even if the weather is rubbish (I rug up as needed, it's only water/wind). Managed a short bike ride recently without major fatigue after - but I'm not getting ahead of myself - baby steps.
This is key. I drink water like uh... well the best way it was put to me was... "hydrate like you are heading into a pissing contest....." Yep foul, but cheeky. It was funny enough to me to paint the picture, so to speak… drink… loads… of… water… and it worked.
Gut health can have a massive impact to our wellbeing also – I fuel myself with loads of good food – well I try as best I can to cook from scratch, and limit pre-made packaged goods – generally they have nasties to keep them ‘fresh’. 80/20 works for me. Good vast majority of the time, but I’m not going to stress over the little bit of ‘not so good’. Scrap the alcohol and sugary drinks - makes a big difference also!
I prioritise quality sleep as often as possible. I do struggle with this with 3 little ones so it's off the bed pretty early to combat their wake ups every night.
Hydrate to clear my body of toxins, but don't forget to ensure I poo, daily! Get that waste out (can't emphasis this enough).
Take it, whenever it’s offered. My ego had to take the back seat. There will be people close that want to help. It’s hard for those not going through it to just sit and watch. To help makes them feel good that they are contributing in some way to better our lives, no matter how little - so let them. I’ve had a neighbour mow my lawn, another cook a meal for me, and the fam take the kids for the night. Every little bit helps to reduce my stress level and each bit of support conserves my energy!
Stress less – looking after my head is key too. Wherever possible I have dumped negativity from my life - media in particular, but even people too! Surrounding myself with positivity has been a good thing. And have laugh! Plenty of jokes and comedies instead, gets the feel good juices flowing through the veins.
Music it such a great influence too – what an incredibly positive change to my mindset has my favourite song, almost instantly!
Lastly, I'm far was from interested in the hippy-dippy flower power love and mung bean alternatives in the world, but the likes of mindfulness apps can really help clear the crap from my head too - I'm partially converted. It's serves a purpose and has worked when I needed it. I'm even trying Yoga to keep on top of the physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing in one.
I'm a bit of a data geek and I check in on wellbeing (head and body) to keep aware of the keys things to look out for to prevent rather than be forced to repair, but also enforce good habits. I put notes on the bathroom mirror to remind me each day.
Hope it helps.
Cheers, with fake beers and mocktails
Thank you so much for your reply and tips. I took a lot out of it. Your advice is really helpful. Some of your advice I’m doing already 😊.
The first 8 days after chemo were always a challenge. I finished round 4 of A/C ( nicknamed the red devil) on Christmas Eve. Next week I start the 1st out of 12 weekly treatment. My oncologist said this round won’t be as harsh on the body. Yay!!!! Just looking forward to the day to feeling more like myself and going back to work. ( unfortunately in my job my immunity can be compromised so I haven’t been able to work )
Thank you so much for your reply once again. It was so helpful and reassuring.
Your body is going through so much right now and trying to process all the toxins, tumour breakdowns and trying to heal at the same time. Keep in mind that it is in overdrive and allow yourself to rest. I know the fatigue is super frustrating but when you are resting your body is generating new cells. I found acupuncture helped me a lot. I wrote a review about it on my blog if that helps.
All the best!
Be part of this supportive community